The rules governing the accounting records that have to be kept by companies are contained in the Commercial Code, which requires all traders to keep orderly books of account that are suitable for their business and to keep a book of inventories and balance sheets and another journal, without prejudice to the records required under laws or special provisions. Companies are also required to keep a book or books of minutes containing, at least, all the resolutions adopted by the shareholders at the Annual General or Special General Meetings and by the companies’ other collective bodies. As regards the formal requirements applicable to the accounting records, the Commercial Code provides that companies must present their mandatory books of account to the Mercantile Registry of the place in which they have their registered office in order that they be officially certified and stamped before they start to be used; the declaration identifying the beneficial owner of the company must be added to this information. Entries and notes may be made by any suitable procedure on separate sheets that must subsequently be bound sequentially to form part of the mandatory books of account, which must be legalized within four months from the end of the related reporting period. These formal requirements also apply to the share registers of corporations, partnerships limited by shares and limited liability companies, which may be kept on electronic files.
Both the Commercial Code and the Revised Spanish Corporate Enterprises Law state that a set of financial statements comprises a balance sheet, an income statement, a statement reflecting the changes in equity during the period, a cash flow statement and notes to the financial statements, with these documents constituting a set of information for these purposes (a directors’ report is also required, although it is not considered to be a constituent part of the financial statements). However, the cash flow statement and the statement of changes in equity are not obligatory where so established by a legal provision (e.g. for companies that are permitted to prepare a balance sheet in the abridged format, as explained below).
In relation to the practical application of the Spanish National Chart of Accounts, after a first part which sets out the conceptual accounting framework, part two establishes recognition and measurement bases for the various asset, liability and income statement items. Following is a brief summary of the main features contained in the conceptual framework and in the most significant recognition and measurement bases introduced by the Spanish National Chart of Accounts currently in force: Components of financial statements. Statement of changes in equity and cash flow statement. Requirements concerning information to be included in the financial statements. The obligatory accounting principles are: going concern, accrual, consistency, prudence, no offset and materiality. The following items are defined: assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses, which shall be recognized when the probability criteria regarding the inflow or outflow of resources embodying economic benefits are met and their value can be determined reliably..
Law 14/2013 of September 27, 2013 supporting entrepreneurs and their internationalization nevertheless amended article 263 of the Capital Companies Law and imposed a precedent requirement with a lower threshold, according to which the financial statements must in all cases be reviewed by an auditor, unless at least two of the requirements described below are met in the two consecutive years leading up to the balance sheet date: Total assets of €2,850,000 or less. Annual turnover of €5,700,000 or less. Average number of employees during the year of 50 or fewer. Companies lose this entitlement if they cease to meet two of the requirements referred to above for two consecutive years.
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